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Friday, April 11, 2008

friday "mie"-ography




This one is for NanaK!

I would like to introduce you to a woman named Eliza Stewart Boyd. Sadly, I cannot find a picture of her in the world wide sucker of my soul, the internet.

Any old how. Nanak, through CamiK, expressed interest in the first woman to sit on a jury. Thus, we have, Eliza.
She was bor in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, the eldest of 8 children. Her mother was Scottish, her father, Scots Irish. Her Mom died soon after birthing the 8th child, and Eliza took on the role of raising her siblings. She managed, while raising the seven of them, to continue to go to school, AND to excel She graduated from the Washington Female Seminary in Washington Pa, as the class valedictorian. Her address to her fellow students, a ten page typed document of rhymed verse, titled "Entering Service" was actually published in the Meadville, Pa. newspaper.
For 8 years, after she graduated she taught school in Crawford County. In December of 1868, however, she decided to move west. She arrived in Laramie, Wyoming, just as they were about to open their first public school. She was the first teacher they hired. She was also a charter member of the Laramie Presbyterian Church.
Shortly after moving to Wyoming, she met Stephen Boyd, a machinst from Canada. They married in 1870.
Before they were married, however, in March of 1870, Eliza, with 4 other women became the first in the world to serve on a jury. (Eliza is listed as officially the first woman juror).
It should be noted that Wyoming was actually the first state to grant women the right to vote, and equal political rights. You go, Wyoming!
So. Eliza served on a jury. And considered it an honor. She gained some local fame for it, and did a credible job. When her service ended, she went back to teaching. She and Stephen moved into their first home, and then, Eliza was named to the organizing committee for the Wyoming Literacy and Library Association. She also continued to write poetry.
In 1873, she became the first woman in the US to be nominated to run for the Territorial legislature. She, for unknown reasons, withdrew her name from the ballot.
She maintained an interest in politics, however, and became a member of the Womens Christian Temperance Union (WTCU) in Laramie, supporting prohibition. Her husband opened a "notions" shop and shoe store, and she managed it, while he continued to work as a machinist.
Eliza remained active in Laramie, until she died, at age 79 after slipping on some ice and breaking her hip. She had 2 living children.
She is memorialized in the Women in the West Center, in Laramie, Wyoming.

5 comments:

CamiKaos said...

great post! What an interesting person... Thanks for looking her up.

holly said...

i'm from wyoming! first time i've been proud of it.

although i knew we were the first to give women the right to vote. i had to do a report on esther hobart mcquig morris in 8th grade, as a punishment for talking.

it *probably* was the first instance of what led to my blog as it is today. teacher loved it, cuz he had a great sense of humour.

sybil law said...

Eliza rocks!

n said...

Thank you, we were watching "The Untouchables" the other night and when they panned the jury there were only men sitting there. The question just popped into my mind. I guess I'm a women's libber of sorts, except I believe in peoples Rights, not gay Rights, womens Rights, Chicano Rights, African American Rights, or even Native American Rights. PEOPLE'S RIGHTS!
Sorry, it was just a question that entered my mind and I appreciate the time and trouble you went to, to answer my queery. NanaK

Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow, I never heard of her before Mie. You always find such interesting stuff.